Xenophobia, Anti-Migrant Politics, and Workers’ Movements
Language: French and English
Recent years have seen an upsurge of anti-migrant sentiment and xenophobia in many parts of the world, perhaps most notably Europe, the United States, and South Africa. These ideologies, particularly strong in native working class communities, construct migrants as sources of terror and/or crime, competition for jobs, and as a drain on state-provided social welfare benefits. This framing is integral to right-wing populism and echoes longstanding negative views of ethnic and racial minorities. Indeed in many contexts it racializes migrants, constructing them as “others” vis-à-vis native populations.
This session will examine the consequences of the growing anti-migrant backlash around the world for labor movements and worker organizing. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the ways in which labor colludes in or challenges racial/ethnic othering.
We welcome cases from all regions and countries.
Themes could include (but are not limited to):
- Mobilization of workers in anti-migrant populist movements
- Impacts on trade union attempts to recruit and represent migrants, and to promote worker solidarity across nationalities
- Salience and power of migrant identity in labor mobilizing
- How xenophobic ideologies affect, and are affected by, transnational labor solidarity
- Intersectional elements of these phenomena (i.e. the intersections of migrant status with gender, religion, and other characteristics)